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John Catsimatidis, seeking the GOP nomination for mayor, today bemoaned the fact that the MTA has disrupted 7 subway line service for repair work between Manhattan and Flushing during every Lunar New Year period since 2008.
From a statement that followed his news conference:
Arthur Rosenfield, the president of the LIC/Astoria Chamber of Commerce, decried the MTA insensitivity to small business owners, particularly those along the LIC corridor along Vernon Blvd and Hunts Point which have few alternative transportation options for customers.
“Small businesses in our area rely heavily on foot traffic but if the customers can not take a train to our stores, it a devastating impact to our bottom line,“ he said.
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, over 500,000 residents of Asian descent live in Queens and over 150,000 live in Manhattan. A large number of members of this community travel back and forth to celebrate with family and friends.
“Many of these families are new Americans who don't have a car and need public transportation to make the trip. This doesn't even take into account the large numbers of other New Yorkers who want to take part in the celebration,“ Catsimatidis said.
New Year events in Chinatown and Flushing are important draws for area restaurants and merchants. The 7 train is a lifeline for the multitude of merchants who rely on customers, tourists and others from the region. What the MTA is doing is akin to disrupting train service to Times Square for the dropping of the ball on the Western New Year Eve Celebration, he said.
“It's time the MTA used a little common sense and sensitivity when planning their Fast Track repairs.“